|Read that tweet again. Carefully.|
I am not here to make a comment on the delay of the Blood Elf redesign, because frankly I reckon they look far too good already and being made to wait a bit while the rest of us catch up to their standard is no bad idea. I saw this Tweet and the only thing I read were the first seven words, and was glad to see that finally someone inside Blizzard's actually admitted the work is done, and stuff is actually being planned for after the Expansion.
Look, someone actually went on record and told us this is the end of the Development Process.
This immediately begs the question: when is this actually going live, then?
|Important dates incoming|
Tomorrow, rather worryingly, is August. That means Gamescon is two weeks away and there are a number of people tipping it will be here that Blizzard could showcase something significant like, for instance, Warlords Opening Cinematic. As if to emphasise this point, Blizzard have even created their own dedicated Gamescon page. I reckon there's a better than average chance of the Cinematic in a fortnight, but as I type the Beta isn't exactly ready to go in terms of content. I've got Twitter confirmation of that as well:
|Not done yet ^^|
But this gets us no closer to answering the question, does it? Well, there are some practical considerations we can now bring to the table. This product will need to be physically shipped to places, because not everyone gets their gaming digitally delivered. That manufacturing process is going to take time to complete: let's give that an eight week window, because that is probably an exact science by now, especially when the key data has to be burnt to CD. Then there is the understanding that everyone will need a bit of time with the new abilities and changes to get used to them, so we've been promised a pre-Expansion patch, and there's not even been a sniff of movement for that on the PTR realms. One assumes they'd have to come down and be re-patched, and as Siege will be appearing on that in Mythic Mode for people to play with (presumably) one assumes they'll want to give us all a bit of playtime on that front too.
Would a month be enough? Hard to say, but even if the PTR was patched next week and we got the PTR live early August, physical product creation means that September is now pretty much out of the question, and the closer we get the Blizzcon, the more likely Blizzard won't want to release anyway. Why? Because there's the matter of the race for World First to consider, and we already know raid content will not be available immediately on release.
|Important enough for a Documentary.|
There's an overriding practical consideration here too: many of the people who'd be racing for World First are likely to be at Blizzcon, with tickets and accommodation already booked. I doubt the last thing Blizzard will want is their content out while the event is live, because most would probably be at home wanting to play it, and this means that the Warcraft portion of the event can be used as a massive advertisement for what is coming, and how if we all buy Warlords Blizzard will promise a bunch of incredibly cool stuff in upcoming patches to absolutely make it worth our while staying around until the end.
That means it is mid Novemeber and we have nothing new. However, most significantly of all, November is when Warcraft celebrates its 10th Birthday. Even though there are new items for Hallows End, I reckon it'll be Pilgrim's Bounty you'll get as your first new Holiday event for Warlords. My heart wants September so we get Brewfest and Hallows End, but looking at the item levels my head is saying that Blizzard are going to play their Joker and we'll get mid-November with World First happening over Christmas because... well, just because. I know it isn't what anyone actually wanted, but this is is how it will end, because Blizzard launches when it's ready (TM) and that means in the month they began.
Warcraft launched in the US in November 2004. The 10th Anniversary Expansion will do the same in November of 2014.
However, I'd not listen to a word I say. I've been making inaccurate predictions for almost a year now ^^